SaskPower announced earlier this week they've had to halt the installation of smart meters throughout the province.

A global supply chain issue is being cited as the main reason that's holding the Crown corporation back from implementing the new service to customers.

"We have been dealing with meter shortage issues for more than a year now," SaskPower Spokesperson Joel Cherry said. "It's not just SaskPower or our manufacture who are affected, there's a global shortage of microchips that's slowing down the production of a wide variety of products."

SaskPower was aiming to disperse a stack of the meters to mostly rural customers in the Prince Albert, Regina, and North Battleford areas this spring. That timeframe has been postponed for the time being.

"Rural customers only get a manual read meter read once a year as opposed to customers in more urban areas who get a read four times a year," he said. "They benefit from having that real-time data for billing purposes.

"We're keeping in touch with our manufacturer and as soon as that stock is available we still start installing meters again. We want to make sure that we can make the benefits of smart meters available to our customers as soon as we can."

Over 70,000 units have been deployed in Saskatchewan to date, mainly in commercial and industrial settings.